Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
What is FERPA? To Whom does it apply?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act ("FERPA") was established to protect the privacy rights of all students. FERPA prevents the release of non-directory information held within education records.
What is directory information?
Directory information is defined in the Lone Star College ("LSC") Policy Manual (VI.H.1) as the student's name, classification, full or part-time enrollment, program of study, dates of enrollment, degrees and certificates received, and awards and honors received. The student has the right to refuse to let LSC designate any or all those types of information as directory information.
FERPA gives eligible students certain rights regarding their education records including the following:
(1) The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day that LSC receives a request for access.
A student should submit written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect to the Student Records, Academic Dean, or the LSC Office of Public Records. The LSC official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the LSC official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
(2) The right to request amendments of the student's education records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy rights under FERPA.
A student may ask LSC to amend a record that he or she believes is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy rights under FERPA. The student should write the LSC official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed and specify why it should be changed. If LSC decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, LSC will notify the student of the decision and advise the
student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
(3) The right to provide written consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
A student can limit the release of personal 'directory information' by completing the Request to Opt Out of Directory Information form each term of enrollment. A student can also grant the release of non-directory student record information to specific people by completing the Authorization to Release Education Records. Both forms are available in the General Institutional Information section of the Student Consumer and Safety Information website.
One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by LSC in an administrative, supervisory, academic, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel); a person or company with whom LSC has contracted (such as an
attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official typically has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record
to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for LSC. Upon request, LSC may disclose education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
(4) The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by LSC to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5901
For more information, you may contact the following LSC offices:
Lone Star College
Attn: Office of Public Records
5000 Research Forest Dr.
The Woodlands, TX 77381
Lone Star College
Attn: Student Records
20515 SH 249 – UP1104
Houston, Texas 77070